How to help people affected by the massive fires burning California's wine country

An estimated 20,000 people in Northern California fled their homes by car and on foot early Monday as a series of wildfires swept through the state’s prized wine country.

Some will return to the counties of Sonoma and Napa to find their homes, vehicles, and possessions turned to rubble.

More than a dozen fires ignited on Sunday and grew as strong, dry winds spread the flames over fields and freeways. At least 100,000 acres have been torched, the Washington Post reported.

There are ways you can help.

The city of Santa Rosa — which saw entire neighbourhoods burn to the ground — has reached its immediate needs for volunteers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Tuesday morning. The city is askingpeople interested in volunteering to sign up with the Red Cross here.

You can also make a donation to the Red Cross, which helps distribute disaster relief aid.

If you’re looking to diversify your contributions, the Salvation Army and The Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership are accepting only monetary donations at this time.

Winery owner Jack Kloberdanz, who lives in Napa, created this donation page to raise $US30,000 for fire relief efforts. The funds will be spread out evenly among local organisations, including the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority, the Napa County Fire Department, and the Lake County Fire and Rescue. The page — which was verified by GoFundMe, according to NBC Bay Area — has raised over $US20,000 from 235 people as of Tuesday morning.

Kloberdanz told NBC Bay Area he woke up on Monday to an “orange and yellow sky” and wanted to help the victims after struggling to find reputable donation pages online.

Rescue workers in Napa and Sonoma counties are also seeking donations of supplies.

The Petaluma Police Department put out a call on social media for medical supplies, including aspirin, Motrin, Band-Aids, cough syrup, and cold packs, which can be delivered to the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds & Event Center in Petaluma. They are also accepting blankets and water at the Petaluma Community Center and Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building.

San Franciscans can donate supplies at local drop-off centres, including boutique Love on Haight, custom branding business Social Imprints, and tattoo shop Eye of the Tiger Tattoo. A Facebook page for Love on Haight says it will “find your donation a good home.”

On behalf of local shelters, Love on Haight is accepting tents, air mattresses and cots, blankets, pillows, phone chargers, pet supplies, baby supplies, feminine and personal hygiene products, new underwear, face masks, latex gloves, boxes, duct tape, suitcases, water, non-perishable food items, and more. To see a full list, check here.

Airbnb has activated its Disaster Response and Relief program, which allows hosts in San Francisco and parts of Marin and Alameda counties to open up their homes to people displaced by the fires, or to relief workers responding to the blazes. Guests stay for free.

Twenty-five people have offered their homes to evacuees as of Tuesday morning. Seasoned hosts and first-timers alike can sign up on Airbnb’s website here.

We will continue to update this post throughout the day.

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